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LEO to moons of Mars 8. In terms of propulsion energy requirements, a mission to a near-Earth asteroid compares starting a precious metals business plan to alternative mining missions. An example of a potential target  for an early asteroid mining expedition is Nereusexpected to be mainly enstatite.
However it would require a much longer round-trip to return the material. Multiple types of asteroids have been identified but the three main types would include the C-type, S-type, and M-type asteroids: C-type asteroids have a high abundance of water which is not currently of use for mining but could be used in an exploration effort beyond the asteroid.
Mission costs could be reduced by using the available water from the asteroid. C-type asteroids also have a lot of organic carbonphosphorusand other key ingredients for fertilizer which could be used to grow food.
Twelve asteroids made up the initially identified group, all of which could be potentially mined with present-day rocket technology. B Foundation The B Foundation is a private nonprofit foundation with headquarters in the United States, dedicated to protecting Earth from asteroid strikes.
As a non-governmental organization it has conducted two lines of related research to help detect asteroids that could one day strike Earth, and find the technological means to divert their path to avoid such collisions.
The foundation's goal was to design and build a privately financed asteroid-finding space telescopeSentinelhoping in to launch it in — Given the satellite's telescopic accuracy, Sentinel's data may prove valuable for other possible future missions, such as asteroid mining.
Process it on-site to bring back only processed materials, and perhaps produce propellant for the return trip. Due to the weak gravitational fields of asteroids, any drilling will cause large disturbances and form dust clouds. Mining operations require special equipment to handle the extraction and processing of ore in outer space.
However, no techniques for refining ore in zero gravity currently exist. Docking with an asteroid might be performed using a harpoon-like process, where a projectile would penetrate the surface to serve as an anchor; then an attached cable would be used to winch the vehicle to the surface, if the asteroid is both penetrable and rigid enough for a harpoon to be effective.
Thus any mining equipment will either need to be highly automated, or a human presence will be needed nearby. On the other hand, multi-minute communications delays have not prevented the success of robotic exploration of Marsand automated systems would be much less expensive to build and deploy.
Arkyd Series the Leo Space telescope is a less expensive instrument that will be used to find, analyze, and see what resources are available on nearby asteroids.
FireFlies are triplets of nearly identical spacecraft in CubeSat form launched to different asteroids to rendezvous and examine them. This would make space travel a more feasible option by lowering cost of fuel. While the cost of fuel is a relatively insignificant factor in the overall cost for low earth orbit manned space missions, storing it and the size of the craft become a much bigger factor for interplanetary missions.
Surface mining[ edit ] On some types of asteroids, material may be scraped off the surface using a scoop or augeror for larger pieces, an "active grab.
Shaft mining[ edit ] A mine can be dug into the asteroid, and the material extracted through the shaft. This requires precise knowledge to engineer accuracy of astro-location under the surface regolith and a transportation system to carry the desired ore to the processing facility.
Magnetic rakes[ edit ] Asteroids with a high metal content may be covered in loose grains that can be gathered by means of a magnet. A water extraction test in  by Honeybee Robotics used asteroid regolith simulant  developed by Deep Space Industries and the University of Central Florida to match the bulk mineralogy of a particular carbonaceous meteorite.
Although the simulant was physically dry i. The vapor was condensed into liquid water filling the collection containers, demonstrating the feasibility of mining water from certain classes of physically dry asteroids.
This forms the gases nickel tetracarbonyl and iron pentacarbonyl - then nickel and iron can be removed from the gas again at higher temperatures, perhaps in an attached printer, and platinum, gold etc.
The company is called Planetary Resources and its founders include aerospace entrepreneurs Eric Anderson and Peter Diamandis. Advisers include film director and explorer James Cameron and investors include Google's chief executive Larry Page and its executive chairman Eric Schmidt.Tips for Writing a Precious Metal Contacts Company Business Plan.
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